A Recess in Good Judgment: When Supervision Becomes Negligent Image

A Recess in Good Judgment: When Supervision Becomes Negligent

September 05, 2015 | Finz & Finz, P.C.


With school back in session, recess is back, and the number of children injured on playgrounds is already beginning to mount.  Injuries on school property during recess and during before-school and after-school play are far too common.  Broken arms, broken legs, and even head fractures are not unheard of when children play dangerous games on monkey bars and other equipment.  And children are also often injured when playground bullying escalates to violence.

Schools are required to provide supervision during recess, but too many schools don’t take this requirement seriously enough.  There are a number of common oversights schools make that result in dangerous playground environments.  These negligent policies include:

  •  Having only one or two faculty to supervise a large playground, making it impossible for those staff to actually monitor the number of children safely
  •  Using support staff who are not familiar with the kids to monitor recess, meaning the staff do not know what potential dangerous situations to look for
  • The use of dangerous playground equipment, such as monkey bars, without proper protocols to make sure kids are being safe, and without a thick enough layer of wood chips or other protective surface to minimize falling injuries
  • Employing staff who socialize with each other instead of properly monitoring the playground

Of these, the most common are staff issues, either not having enough staff or having staff who don’t pay attention.  Teachers and support staff see recess as a break for themselves as well as the kids, and don’t do their jobs keeping kids safe.

If your child has been injured at school, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.  Schools notoriously keep the same staff and protocol in place even after children are hurt, meaning more kids are in danger if you don’t do something to put an end to it.  An experienced attorney will know how to help you push for the changes necessary to keep children safe.


Additional Info: Negligent Supervision

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Comment on this News Item:
Comment by Heidi Breen
October 05, 2015

My son is now 19. When he was about 5 he was in a daycare of which I got from a list provided by DSS because they were subsidizing. The day care was at a womans home, a friend of hers a nurse came to assist on days there were more than the allowed amount of children per caretaker. The nurse came early on the days my son and 1 or 2 others came early so the woman could sleep in. The nurse was arrested at the daycare for sleeping with the owners son, I believe he was 14. The nurse lost her nursing license & did some time. From reading the "Negligent Supervision" article, it sounds like we had or have a case against not only the day care but also DSS.

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